While the issue does not receive a significant amount of attention, domestic violence within same-sex relationships is a problem just as serious and just as common as domestic violence and domestic abuse in opposite-sex partnership. While it is difficult to confirm solid numbers, domestic abuse experts say that the same number of same-sex couples are involved in an abusive relationship as traditional romantic relationships.

Why Don’t We Hear More About Same-Sex Domestic Violence?

In many cases, abused partners are afraid of revealing that they are involved in a homosexual relationship. In other cases, those suffering from domestic violence believe that in a world that can be biased or even hostile toward gays, their claims would not be taken seriously or would reflect poorly on their lifestyle. In truth, the victims of same-sex domestic violence deserve the same support, treatment, and help as any abuse victim.

Unfortunately, gay and lesbian domestic abuse victims face several more obstacles than those in more accepted romantic relationships and marriages. For example, many resources that are in place for heterosexual abuse victims may not be applicable to homosexual victims, or homosexual victims may not be comfortable sharing their story without lying about their sexual orientation or other details. In addition, leaving an abusive homosexual relationship may also mean leaving the local gay and lesbian community, a move that can be isolating and difficult. Finally, lesbian, gay, and transgendered domestic abuse victims may not know any other people in their community who have been through similar issues – a fact that can also be very isolating.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington